Cal Insignia
Cal Automated Toilet Paper Replacer

Design:

The past decade seen the rapid inclusion of automated devices in public and commercial restrooms. From automatic paper towel dispensers, to automated flushing toilets, to hand sensing sinks, restrooms are increasingly improving their usability and sanitary conditions through such devices.

Considering the high visibility of current restroom devices, it is surprising that toilet paper systems have not also been automated. This void in automated restroom technology represents an opportunity for both financial profit and design innovation within the restroom machines market. Our product, the Cal Automatic Toilet Paper Replacer (TPR), is a device designed for commercial restroom stalls that detects when a roll of toilet paper is empty and subsequently moves a fresh roll into place. This simple mechanical movement is the first step in updating the way users have come to expect the dispensing of toilet paper within public stalls.

The basic model consists of a blow-molded outer housing that covers a polycarbonate disk. Attached to the disk are four pegs that the TP rolls hang upon. A reflective optical sensor is positioned against the roll that is currently in use. If the TP roll is exhausted, the infrared light emitted by the LED will not be reflected back to the collector, causing this sensor to send a rotate signal to the motor. By contrast, if the TP roll is not exhausted, the infrared light emitted from the LED is reflected back into the sensor, and the carousel will not rotate. A diagram describing how the sensor operates has been included below.

Based on the principle of using a reflective sensor to detect when a TP roll is exhausted and then rotating a new roll into place, the Cal Automated TPR system is primed to become a standard feature of public restrooms.

Figure 1